WatchOS 8 release date, features, and Apple Watch compatibility preview

Apple Watch models getting the watchOS 8 update

  • Series 3-6 and Apple Watch SE
watchOS 8 will quite possibly be rolled out to all Apple Watch series and models that were granted the privilege of the watchOS 7 update not long ago, and these are all models from the 2017 Apple Watch Series 3 and up, not too shabby.

Apple watchOS 8 release date

  • watchOS 8 beta late June, retail release in September

The watchOS 8 beta rollout will most likely happen in the June/July timeframe, on the runup to the full release in the fall.

New watchOS 8 features

  • Assistive Touch accessibility options
  • Blood sugar monitoring
  • Widget system
  • Watch face store
  • AirTags integration

The rest of the new features expected from watchOS 8 read more as a wishlist than anything else at the moment, as you can see from graphic designer Angelo Libero‘s concept video above. Things like Apple AirTag integration and widget introduction would certainly be a blast to have for owners of sub-series 7 Apple Watch models that won’t be getting the blood sugar monitoring ability but whether those will materialize is anyone’s guess at the moment.

What we are fairly certain will be present in watchOS 8, though, is Assistive Touch as an accessibility option that makes it easier for handicapped owners to use navigation gestures, pick up calls, or get to the control center without touching the wearable’s screen.

Apple’s non-invasive optical sensor plans to introduce blood glucose monitoring for diabetics may lie in another patent that describes the process but also lists a number of challenges for the technology.

A watch face store for swapping the looks, a better calls and messaging system, enhanced sleep tracking, and exercise modes for the eventual Apple Watch Explorer Edition would be  welcome additions, too. Furthermore, a new interface and icons may be in store, as what we have now has been around forever, and with new features, an UI redesign is rather reasonable to expect. 

Given recent Touch ID on Apple Watch patents, the Apple Watch 7 may ring in biometrics as well, though older series won’t be getting it for obvious reasons. What would you like to see the most as a new watchOS 8 feature?

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